Skip to main content

Archives - Weekly Update

Last night, we hosted a very special and FUN “Bookaccino Live: A Lively Talk About Books” event. To celebrate the 24th anniversary of Bookreporter, nine of our longtime reviewers --- Sarah Rachel Egelman, Harvey Freedenberg, Joe Hartlaub, Ron Kaplan, Eileen Zimmerman Nicol, Ray Palen, Norah Piehl, Stuart Shiffman and Katherine B. Weissman --- shared books with us that they enjoyed reading over the summer. Their selections cover a wide variety of genres, and there may be a few titles here that you didn’t have on your radar that you will want to check out. We had 260 readers in attendance; they were from 37 states…and one lived in Argentina!

Last weekend, we had no company or obligations. So it was a two-book weekend, which is the kind of weekend I love!

I started with THE EXILES by Christina Baker Kline, which will be a Bets On pick. You remember her as the author of ORPHAN TRAIN, which has sold more than three-and-a-half million copies. In THE EXILES, Christina takes us to Australia in the mid-1800s when the country was being populated with convicts from the UK, who were sent there by ship, in droves. She tells the story through the eyes of three young women: one from England, one from Wales and one from Tasmania. She gives us such a strong sense of the country, which was so primitive.

Next up was ONE BY ONE by Ruth Ware, which also will be a Bets On selection. This is Ruth's sixth novel, and I have been a fan since book one. This latest work is her very best. It’s set at a ski resort...and on a very, very hot weekend, I found myself actually chilled as her storytelling was so atmospheric! Staffers from an app company called Snoop are off on a team-building retreat weekend at a luxury home where they will be attended to by two caretakers who are there to see to their every need. This will be challenging. A storm rolls in, there’s an avalanche, and if that's not enough, members of the Snoop team are being killed, one by one.

Last weekend, we picked up a bushel of peaches. You may ask, "How many peaches come in a bushel?" 65! We have them ripening on a counter in the kitchen. I feel like I need to get THE PEACH TRUCK COOKBOOK. But I also will be happy to see your best peach recipes; shoot them to me at with the subject line “Peach.” This weekend, I am going to make the Peach Caprese Salad with burrata instead of mozzarella.

The thought of baking with these peaches brought back a memory. When I was little, my sister and I would play “cooking show.” I am not sure what show was our inspiration, but I think it was something on the local PBS channel. We would line up cake mix, eggs, oil and water and talk to the imaginary camera. There was one time when we were making a cake for my mom’s birthday. One of us tripped putting it into the oven, and the batter dripped into the oven and the oven door. We called my dad at the office to ask him what to do. He said, “Turn off the oven, and I will pick up a cake.” Good advice.

Because life has been “so calm” during the pandemic, this week it was time to toss in a tropical storm, predict that it would hit Florida and instead have it hit North Carolina, and let the eye of it travel right up the densely populated areas of the east coast. Yes, there is nothing like turning the lights out and the air conditioning off in the heat of summer for a large swath of people. In our town, this allowed anyone who has a generator to feel good about their purchase and those without it to contemplate getting one for the next storm. We have a portable generator, but instead of setting it up, we decamped to our friend Cathy’s house, where there was light, power and internet connections. She likes it when we lose power as we make dinner in exchange for power, beds and hot showers. At her kitchen table, I proved once again that I can work anywhere that has an internet connection. Yes, let there be light!